Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Governor Schwarzenegger Gives Final State of the State Speech to California Legislature

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger gave his last State of the State today (click here for a video on the Governor's website; you can read the text, here).  Your BOMA Advocacy Team tuned-in to the broadcast, and the following are the hightlights:
  • The economy is getting better and the worst is behind us. Cited the recent Time magazine article as verification/vindication for his generally optimistic assessment of the state’s future.
  • Tax Reform #1 problem. Asked the legislature to take his recent commission’s recommendations seriously and do something about reforming the tax system. 58% of California’s income tax comes from 144,000 residents (in a state with 34 million people). This is too unpredictable to be continued.
  • Budget Reform #2 problem. Cited the recent recommendations from the California Forward organization that encouraged the state to adopt performance-based budgeting, establish a rainy day fund, and spend one time income on one time expenses, such as capital improvement projects.
  • Water bonds #3. Need to pass bonds to construct new water retention facilities and consider a new trans-California canal.
  •  Education funding will be protected in this year’s budgeting.
  • Called for a constitutional amendment that would never allow the funding of prisons to exceed the funding for higher education in California. Currently: CA spends 11% of its budget on prisons and 7.5% on higher education. The Governor said it was time to consider privatizing our prison system, and any money we save gets put toward higher ed.
  • Cited the inequity of funding from the Federal Government to California, and pointed out that CA has to pick up a lot of the expenses for illegal immigration that should be funded by the Feds.
  • Called for serious pension reform of state employees. Said the state faces a $10 billion liability in the near future and this problem must be addressed now.
  • Stated his support for universal healthcare but did not like the current legislation in Congress as Nebraska is going to get a better deal than California! (courtesy of Senator Nelson)
  • Finally, he applauded the veterans who’ve served in Afghanistan and Iraq and said the state must do more to provide them re-entry services and help with post traumatic stress syndrome.

No comments:

Post a Comment